I’ve been spending the day exploring different gingerbread cookie recipes. Both from my own cultural background, Hungarian, and others. I made the traditional North American version, the Hungarian version and Swedish version. Each have unique techniques and spice variations. And each are delicious for their own reasons.
This left me in the dilemma of a quick meal idea after baking cookies all day. My go to meal oftentimes on a busy day is mac n cheese. I can prepare the sauce in the time it takes to boil water and cook pasta.
I like to change the sauce with little twists in each season. Blanched asparagus in spring. Broccoli in summer and as the autumn falls into winter, adding the tart background of apple cider compliments the creamy richness perfectly.
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup spelt flour
- ½ cup apple cider
- 2-1/2 cups milk
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
- 250g/8 oz shredded cheese (I used a blend of aged cheddar, jalapeño jack and gouda)
- 300g dry macaroni
- In a large pot, over medium high heat, add the butter. When the butter melts, reduce the heat to medium and whisk in the flour until smoothly combined. Slowly pour in the apple cider and whisk until the flour-butter mix thickens it. Add the milk ½ cup at a time, whisking to combine and waiting for the sauce to thicken before the next ½ cup addition. When all of the milk is incorporated, whisk in the spices. Take off the heat, add the cheese and allow the residual heat to melt the cheese. Whisk until smooth. Set aside and keep warm.
- Cook the macaroni. Drain the water, toss the cooked macaroni with the prepared sauce and serve. Serves 6-8 as a main or 12-14 as a side.